PJ and I went to three museums while we were in NYC last week: the Guggenheim, the Met, and MOMA. Each of these is, of course, world famous. As I’ve written before, I love going to museums and even have favorites. MOMA may now be on that list.

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim is, of course, famous for its distinctive architecture and spiralling exhibit space. The main exhibit while we were there was a collection called “Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso.” My previous experience with Spanish painting is visiting the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid and the Museu Picasso in Barcelona. While visiting the former, I fell in love with the seventeenth-century painter Diego Velazquez, so I was excited to see that the Guggenheim was showing Spanish art, including a few works by him.

One of my favorite paintings in the Spanish exhibit is Bartolom√© Esteban Murillo’s Four Figures on a Step, which was painted sometime around 1655-60:

Four Figures on a Step

According to the description that accompanied the painting, the woman lifting her veil is, in doing so, indicating that she’s a prostitute. The older woman with glasses is probably a procuress. The placard audio guide also suggests that the little boy’s torn pants and exposed buttocks is meant to suggest his erotic allure for male patrons as well. The description did not mention the male figure on the left, but he too is presumably “for hire.”